Africa: Optimum Tracker builds biggest PV plant in Senegal with 30 MW

8/4/16, 11:00 AM -

French based Optimum Tracker is going to build the biggest PV plant in Senegal with 30 MW in Santhiou-Mékhé for Solairdirect, a subsidiary of the ENGIE group.

Optimum Tracker will install a 30 MW PV plant with single axis trackers in Senegal and hire and train around 100 local people for the 64 ha construction site.

The Santhiou-Mékhé power plant falls within the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) launched by the President Macky Sall in 2014 with the ambition to create 350 MW of solar power plants in the country to diversify its energetic mix while tapping into a largely underexploited resource: the sun.

Public-private partnership

This power plant was created thanks to a public-private partnership between the Strategic Investment Sovereign Fund (FONSIS), Proparco (AFD) and Meridiem. The electricity will be bought by the Senegal National Electricity Company (SENELEC) and injected into the national network.

Africa as focus for international development

 “Africa is an important market for Optimum Tracker because we are contributing to enhancing the daily life of people who have limited access to electricity. It’s also a major continent for our international development, especially when we see a partner like ENGIE planning to increase its renewable energies operations locally”, explains Madyan De Welle, Optimum Tracker’s CEO.

Solar radiance of 2,000 kWh/m²

In rural areas where up to 60% of the population lives, the electrification level is about 17%. The arrival of this power plant is a real step forward for the improvement of local life conditions. With a solar radiance of 2,000 kWh /m² on the area, we estimate that 32,000 homes and 250,000 people will be powered thanks to it.

Boost for the local economy

It is also a great boost for the local economy thanks to the recruiting and training of about 100 people by Optimum Tracker for the construction of the 64ha (158 acres) site, with numerous indirect jobs generated. 92,000 modules and 11,250 piles will be installed in a semi-desert area by Optimum Tracker and the construction site is expected to last three months for the installation of ground mounting systems. (HCN)

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